FTSE 100 watch: Index looking up as EU leaders back Brexit deal

AstraZeneca’s EGPA treatment granted orphan drug designation in US

FTSE 100 watch: Index looking up as EU leaders back Brexit deal

The UK benchmark index looks set to start the last week of November on the front foot, as the European Union backed UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. On the corporate front, an AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) treatment for a rare autoimmune disease has been granted an orphan drug designation in the US.

Index to open higher

IG’s opening calls suggest that the Footsie will start trading 0.35 percent higher at 6,977 points. Sentiment is likely to be upbeat today after EU leaders backed Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The future of the deal now rests with Britain’s parliament and Reuters reports that May will tell MPs today that the face the choice to either back the deal or reject it and take Britain “back to square one” with “more division and more uncertainty”.

In the US, stocks fell on Friday in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, dragged down by the tech sector, as well as by a fall in oil. Asian markets meanwhile have been mixed this morning.

At home, the Footsie shed 7.46 points to close 0.11 percent lower at 6,952.86, dragged down by mining shares. Fresnillo (LON:FRES) was the session’s biggest faller in percentage terms, giving up 6.98 percent to 746.40p.

Monday’s agenda

Today’s releases include Germany’s IFO business climate index, due out at 09:00 GMT. On the other side of the Atlantic, Chicago’s national activity index for October is out at 13:30 GMT. With the earnings season winding down, there are no blue-chips scheduled to update the market on their performance this morning.

AstraZeneca meanwhile has reported this morning that the US Food and Drug Administration has granted orphan drug designation for Fasenra (benralizumab) for the treatment of Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.

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